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Canadian National Junior Pistol Team 2006-7

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Posted by Patrick ( on July 16, 2006 at 00:32:23:

Hello everyone.

It is with great pleasure that I am announcing the creation of the Canadian National Junior Pistol Team for 2006-7.

Some Background Information First

Prior to this year's Canadian National Pistol Championships, there was no separate team structure for junior pistol athletes. The top male and female air pistol shooters were invited on to the Canadian National Pistol Team. While this was a great opportunity, this had been deemed as an insufficient means to foster shooting excellence in our junior program, beyond our provincial borders. Consequently, a committee was struck last year to investigate the problem. Committee members consisted of Keith Stieb (SK), Pat Gustafson (AB), Rick Ward (ON) and myself (ON).

Upon arriving at this year's championships, we determined that we hadn't made much progress. All of us are very busy at both the provincial and national levels and putting another program together had been pushed aside. Fortunately, by being in the same province and range, we were able to talk through what we wanted to achieve. The consensus was that we needed to start something now and get the ball rolling.

As such, I offered to coach the team and Jana Stieb (former Jr. national champ!) was enlisted as our manager. We're both volunteers and acting on an interim basis for one year, since we had not officially solicited staff.

Then we looked at what we had in the way of athletes. There were some great candidates at the Nationals, competing in various disciplines. Unfortunately, not all disciplines were represented, nor heavily populated. (Going forward, we hope that creating a team will rectify this situation.)

With this reality in mind, the committee decided to award team spots for 2006/7 as follows:

Air Pistol - 2 males / 2 females
Free Pistol - 1 male / 1 female
Sport Pistol - 1 male / 1 female

We are looking for a gender-balanced team which can compete at international junior events, which have co-ed competitions. In all cases, for a junior to be eligible, they must not turn 21 years of age during the year of their membership on the National Junior Team. For instance, for the 2006/7 team, they must not turn 21 throughout the 2007 year.

As mentioned, we would like to see greater participation in all disciplines. Therefore, at next year's national championships (2007/8), team selection will be awarded to the following disciplines:

Air Pistol - 2 males / 2 females
Free Pistol - 1 male / 1 female
Rapidfire Pistol - 2 Top Scores (either male or female)
Sport Pistol - 1 male / 1 female
Standard Pistol - 2 Top Scores (either male or female)

Now Back to the Announcement

Now that you know what has taken place, let me tell you the important news. Canada's National Junior Pistol Team for 2006/7 is as follows:

Air Pistol
- Matthew Hendry (SK) / Samuel Pidwerbeski (SK)
- Shannon Townsend (ON) / Shvawn Christensen (ON)
Free Pistol
- Phillipe Tousignant (PQ) / Amy Stewart (AB)
Sport Pistol
- Julian Lotayef (ON) / Shannon Townsend (ON)

Head Coach (Interim): Patrick Haynes
Team Manager (Interim): Jana Stieb

More Good News:

As soon as the team was announced, Scott Illingworth (National Team Member, former National Jr. Champ and now successful engineer and entrepreneur) stood up and pledged $3000 worth of merchandise for the team. This was an unexpected and greatly appreciated show of support. Scott owns and sells all manner of great equipment. Visit Scott and thank him for helping get the team started on a solid footing.

Going Forward

The team is in its infancy and I have more design to get underway. The athletes named are gearing up for the Canada Winter Games in Feb. 2007. I want to keep them focussed on that goal, working with their established provincial and personal coaches. My role for the next few months is to provide support as is requested and needed.

If you know these juniors, please stop and congratulate them. Let them know you are proud of them. These athletes are our sport's future and we must support them as once we were supported.

Best regards.
Patrick Haynes

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